THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Fast Wi-Fi, team building and health are among the top 10 hotel meeting trends for 2014 in the U.S., according to the Texas-based hotel company Benchmark Resorts & Hotels.
“The good news is … there’s good news. Booking pace is very strong, and the economic hangover is mostly worn off, and companies are spending again on training and development. We look forward to 2014 and beyond,” said Alex Cabañas, president and CEO of Benchmark Hospitality International.
The remaining top 10 trends include meaningful and well-executed web content; longer booking demand as opposed to short-term booking; and demand for unique experiences. In addition, being green is not seen by most planning professionals as a critical factor in property selection, however planners and conferees want healthy choices verses pre-ordained menu options, and they want value (with options such as mini spa breaks). Social media is having minimal impact on corporate meetings business, with the possible exception of LinkedIn. However, the report shows a rise of meeting-specific property apps tailored to optimize communication during the planning and implementation phases. Finally, meeting budgets are on the rise, following six years of recessionary woes.